All are original crafts teachers. Natalya taught high school, Nadia has been teaching first-graders in Ukraine for nearly 30 years, and Lyudmila is a lifelong mathematician. They have in Prague at the Grammar School of International and Public Relations (GMMV) in Stodulky in charge of nearly 30 Ukrainian children in two classes.
Nervousness, fear and relief
Better than anyone can judge, Iand children react to all the habits they are currently experiencing, to all the pain that war brings. “The first two weeks were too difficult,” admits Natalya. “They were scared, they were scared to get out of the classroom, they were scared to open the door. Loud noises startled them. When they heard planes, for example, they were afraid and looked for a place to hide,“Said Ljudmila.
“The children were always at home with their thoughts, they did not know what was happening and why, they did not realize it. We have Ukrainian textbooks at our disposal, and when I was teaching according to them , a the little girl began to tell me sadly that she left such a manual at her house in kyiv“, he gives as an example. “They find it difficult not to be able to talk to their father, for example, with grandfathers. It turns out that in the middle of the classroom, some of them cried. »
The situation is better now. The children get used to the Czech environment. “AND thanks to the school they are also torn from the routine, are confiscated by something. They can write, they see each other with friends, they can have fun with each other and thus have completely different worries than when they spend whole days at home with their family”, explains Nadia.
It helps a lot the way Czech classmates treat them, who also learn to get used to it. There are no problems with that at school, on the contrary they get along well. “My two grandchildren go to Sparta, for example Football training, where they have already met a number of friends,” said Ljudmila.
The effect is not to mention the various one-time or local events that Ukrainians in Prague can use – be it a movie screening or a performance. “The big hit I noticed was the Prague Botanical Garden or Zoowhich, according to the children, is the best in the world,” Natalya agrees.
younger and younger
“War” is always a matter of contention among children. Not so much among older seniors, all the more aware of the seriousness of the situation, but among younger people. “If they have young children, the possibility of playing an electronic game is associated with war”, Lyudmila wonders. “You older people remember their friends in Ukraine, but they also talk more about new experiences here in the Czech Republic. Everything we ate, saw, visited.”
“It is difficult for children, despite their haunting experience they still struggle to recognize what is right and what is wrong“Ludmila thinks.” “For example, when they hear someone speaking Russian somewhere, which also happens with Ukrainians, they start to be more nervous, more aggressive. They will start asking him why he speaks Russian when he comes from Ukraine,” he adds. This is also related to the fact that they try to be with each other Support, if someone has dark thoughts or is afraid. “During this month, they grew very mentally mentally. They ripen prematurely“Teachers recognize with one voice.
Via Slovakia to Prague
Lyudmila was the only one to arrive in Prague following the war. He lives in kyiv near the airport, which became the target of bombardments at the beginning. It was a prudent decision, because they are rising more and more to the surface cases where Russian missiles “missed” or deliberately hit civilian targets. By the way, without excluding schools.
“The course was complicated. Originally, I wanted to travel to western Ukraine with my family, who live in Poltava, but the roads were destroyed and disrupted,” he says. Finally, she therefore decided, like hundreds of thousands of others, travel from their homeland. “Always at the border, we thought the war would end quickly. It’s been over a month, and nothing’s overhe said in a moved voice.
When she finally crossed the borders of Slovakia with her mother, daughter and two grandchildren, she did not know where her steps would lead her. “Until volunteers advised us to go to Praguewhere they take good care of the refugees,” recalls Ljudmila. She ended up in Prague “unexpectedly” March 3, a week after the start of the Russian invasion. “I didn’t know anyone here, I don’t have any relatives here. That was enough for us a foreign city that generously received us. I am extremely grateful to all the Czechs I met during the trip, because everyone helped, explained, they offered what they could do for us,” he says.
Intermittent contact with home
It is difficult and uncomfortable for all three to watch what is happening in their home country from afar. They have ties with their relatives. But it doesn’t always work. “As much as possible, we call or write to each other every day,” says Natalya. “But it happens that two days, three days are not called. The Russians block the connection,” he explains, adding that such moments are among the most unpleasant, because you don’t know what is really going on.
The three teachers teach at the GMVV, which is already preparing for the possibility of teaching children of Ukrainian refugees at the start of the Russian invasion. He is currently studying in two classes 28 children. “We have two classes, one inferior, the other superior. Both classes learn separatelythey are in charge of six graduate Ukrainian teachers who have established cooperation with us thanks to the House of National Minorities and more specifically thanks to Ms. Olga Mandová, who is in charge of the Ukrainian national minority in our country,” said Šimon Zajíček , CEO .
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